Friday, January 24, 2014

There Is a Bridge

I recently attended a 3.5 day "There Is a Bridge" workshop in Stewart, Florida, run by the brilliant Michael Verde of Memory Bridge.  Here's what I had to say about the experience:

“Outside of a cure, the most vital need of people with Alzheimer’s disease and their loved ones is real emotional connection. How do we continue to communicate with someone with AD who doesn’t talk or remember us? How can we be with people with AD so they are not left feeling the pain of isolation, abandonment, and loneliness? How do we overcome our own feelings of self-consciousness, discomfort, and fear of AD to be fully present and connected with someone with dementia?

I’m confident that everyone in this workshop came away understanding the answers to these questions, but it wasn’t through taking notes, reading power-point slides or listening to lectures. We embodied the answers. We remembered how to feel safe while vulnerable, how to let go of judgment, to offer empathy, to see the humanity and vulnerability in every person, to remember that everyone matters, how to communicate joy, understanding, and love without words or memories—through body language, emotional connection, and the willingness to be fully present in front of another human being.
Everyone should experience this workshop.” -Lisa Genova

Memory Bridge Website

Video clips from "There Is a Bridge"


  1. Hi, Lisa. I just finished reading "Left Neglected" (our bookclub's pick for this month) and started following your blog. During his undergraduate studies, my husband was a live-in caretaker for a gentleman who had AD. I met my husband during this time and was so impressed by the way he cared for and loved that man. I remember him telling me, when the man was nearing the end, that even though the gentleman could no longer talk or recognize his loved ones - he still recognized and responded to the agencies of love and kindness.

  2. You are an AMAZING writer - I just started reading "Loving Anthony" . My son is nothing like Anthony but there are similarities ( just like Olivia finds similarities between Anthony and the "curious incident" character). R has Sprite bottles and numbers where Anthony has pebbles and singing birthday cards. Olivia and Anthony are the same age as I and R. Anyway I had to put the book down because it was just too much and was making me cry too much, but I think I am ready to read some more
    You are amazing.
    Keep writing.

  3. Finished the book - It really is an amazing book - but I did not like the end ( Anthony's epilogue)